Eltham Fun Run 10km
With the intention over many years of participating in this run, I finally managed it. With all the different events I have raced, it is strange that I hadn't run the one that is consistently the closest to home (even with moving house).
Being close to home, I cycled the handful of kilometres. A nice novelty. Perfect weather was setting up the day. Sunny and warm, but not hot. My warm up didn't have me feeling how I like. I wasn't feeling like a runner. The triathlon training was having me feel more like a triathlete. While that is my overall aim, this morning I wanted to be a runner. It became clear I wasn't going to feel fast prior to the race, so I cut my losses. I cut out the faster component of the warm up and hoped I would just feel fresh.
You must stretch
The start line was a little crowded for a small race. The actual start was delayed by a few minutes for the so-called warm up as an aerobic instructor repeatedly complained not enough people were doing as she directed and that we really needed to stretch before the race. I was thinking a handful of stretches a minute before the starter's horn sounded was a bit late.
As usual there were plenty of people going nuts with an overly fast start. To me it seemed more than usual, but I we were mixed with the 5km runners as well. I tried to keep my pace controlled, but far from easy. The first section is mainly downhill, so you could get a false sense of your ability. I was thinking that knowing the terrain very well would set me up well. Around the 2km mark I was hurting way more than I thought I should. Plus I was feeling much slower than I was happy with. A bit doubt about the day was creeping in.
Soon enough we hit a descent uphill. This presented a mixed bag for me. The ascent felt just plain difficult for me, and I was seriously doubting my ability to tackle the climbs for the rest of course. On the other hand, I was traveling up quicker than many others. On the first real climb I improved my position in the field substantially.
Passing others helped me get my head into the race. It was clear today was going to hurt. Better do well to justify the pain.
Before race start and into the first kilometre I had a few ideas how I should attack the race. I had been hoping to be somewhere in the top five where I could make a race of it. Things didn't turn out that way. The race was became purely a time trial over a hilly course. The tactic I employed was keeping the effort slightly higher when traveling upwards, and aiming for a relaxed speed on the downhills. This is how I believed I would get my best time. Trying anything else was very likely to send me backwards down the field.
In the last 4km I passed a few, wasn't overtaken and just managed to keep my speed up over the finish. It hurt. In fact it could be the most painful 10km race I have every done. The good news is the race was paced as evenly as I could ever get, when allowing for the terrain.
My final result isn't clear yet. Rumor is I crossed the line in 8th place, and hit 39:30. These I can't confirm yet, but I have resurrected my ego after Meadowglen.